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  1. #1

    Default Monsieur Balmain - what am I missing here?

    With summer on its way, I thought it'd be a good idea to investigate a couple of summer frags that I'd been frequently coming across, over the last few months.

    Monsieur Balmain, was the main one that I had my eye on, solely based on all the positive reviews. Well, I tried it on a few days ago and simply gagged - the lemony zest was there alright but it smelt slightly stale, and was dominated by this constantly emerging (and vile) accord. I remember a couple of the reviews mentioning cigarette smoke/ash but it smelt far worse than that. For a summer scent, I didn't find this fresh at all.

    Was it my body chemistry or have I missed something here? Are there others who hate this with a passion? Maybe someone could even help me to appreciate its 'unique' qualities?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Monsieur Balmain - what am I missing here?

    For me this one is all about application. Too much and it's a syrupy lemon bomb. I've found that a real light spray usually wears well.

    Best regards...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Monsieur Balmain - what am I missing here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trebor View Post
    With summer on its way, I thought it'd be a good idea to investigate a couple of summer frags that I'd been frequently coming across, over the last few months.

    Monsieur Balmain, was the main one that I had my eye on, solely based on all the positive reviews. Well, I tried it on a few days ago and simply gagged - the lemony zest was there alright but it smelt slightly stale, and was dominated by this constantly emerging (and vile) accord. I remember a couple of the reviews mentioning cigarette smoke/ash but it smelt far worse than that. For a summer scent, I didn't find this fresh at all.

    Was it my body chemistry or have I missed something here? Are there others who hate this with a passion? Maybe someone could even help me to appreciate its 'unique' qualities?
    I don't hate it with a passion, but I also got that ashy vibe. So it's not for me, too.

  4. #4

    Smile Re: Monsieur Balmain - what am I missing here?

    MB is such an odd one, so literal minded, the idiot savant of fragrances. Perhaps this is its charm. I agree that you must not over-do the application. Without the ash note MB would be synthetic lemon juice, so I find the ash balancing. I tried to use this as a layering fragrance, but with disastrous results. It will dominate everything that comes near it. So, I agree, you either find this one charming or repulsive.
    I'm going to treat it as my summer, outdoor activity fragrance. My bottle is only 1 oz., so it should be finished off by Labor Day.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Monsieur Balmain - what am I missing here?

    I tried Monsieur Balmain today for the first time (thanks bront82) and I must agree with Trebor's 'ash' comments above. In fact, when I first put it on, I got a slight feeling of deja vu because the same lemon/pungent smoke accord can be smelled in Lemon Sorbet by Etro (that I owned and recently sold). I always described LS as 'grilled lemon slices' and that's again the image I got from Monsieur Balmain today.

    I prefer MB, the lemon is slightly more refined (think Armani Pour Homme, minus the bland drydown), but I'm not sure I could get past the ash and it's bone dry, parched and pungent note that peeks it's head out all the way through to the base notes.

    I'm not sure the 'best citrus of all time' that Turin named it in The Guide is all that worthy.

    Anyone else worn this recently?
    "You are here to enable the Divine purpose of the Universe to unfold. That is how important you are."

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  6. #6

    Default Re: Monsieur Balmain - what am I missing here?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Anyone else worn this recently?
    Yes and, though I tried hard, I could not smell ash. I smelled rosemary. Lemon and rosemary herb. Hmmm...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Monsieur Balmain - what am I missing here?

    Quote Originally Posted by bossanova_boy View Post
    Yes and, though I tried hard, I could not smell ash. I smelled rosemary. Lemon and rosemary herb. Hmmm...
    Well, yes I agree that there was something 'herbal' in the mix...but it's dark pungency smelled 'burnt' slightly. Weird...
    "You are here to enable the Divine purpose of the Universe to unfold. That is how important you are."

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  8. #8

    Default Re: Monsieur Balmain - what am I missing here?

    I used to have a bottle (actually, I have had a couple of bottles of this over the years). I found it too tame and simplistic for my tastes. The mace in this is breathtaking (in a good way). The lemon can easily last for 8 hours, which is a miracle...even if it is synthetic, it doesn't smell like it. I found it fresh and spicy. But, like I said before, a little tame. I want something that I probably couldn't duplicate by mixing a few essential oils together. I have never smelled ashes or anything like that so it must be a person's skin type.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Monsieur Balmain - what am I missing here?

    I must agree on being impressed with the longevity Kelley. Which can be a tricky thing for citrus scents (good and bad). Good: because most citrus scents have absolutley no longevity, it's refreshing to find one that last more than a couple of hours Bad: When a citrus fragrance is too tenacious it reminds many of concentrated lemon dishwashing liquid and/or lemon scented furniture polish

    I actually like MB's 'simplistic' properties. I just wish that slight whiff of something burnt wasn't floating around in the middle of the lemon notes. If I want to smell burnt, which hey, sometimes I do - I'll wear Avignon or Black Tourmaline.
    "You are here to enable the Divine purpose of the Universe to unfold. That is how important you are."

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  10. #10

    Default Re: Monsieur Balmain - what am I missing here?

    Does anyone know how the new (1990) formula differs from the old (1964, discontinued) formula?

    This is the 1964 pyramid:
    http://www.basenotes.net/ID26121119.html

    But I can't find a pyramid anywhere for the 1990 reformulation. Perhaps therein lies the key to the "ash."

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